Sins are committed rampantly all across the globe. We read and hear about horrible things people do to others. Good vs. evil has never been so clear. The loving messages from God have consistently been "Turn to him and repent." He doesn't need to mentions any specific sins, for rebelling against him is the root cause of all our problems. Turning to him and stopping offending him is our only hope of being saved. But the world continues to ignore him. I believe that the chastisement or warning we get will become more severe each time. How I hope that the world would heed God's word before it's too late!
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
In reading 1 from 2 Timothy 1, Paul made it clear that God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control, and we are to bear our share of hardship for the Gospel with strength that comes from God. And Christ had destroyed death and brought life and immortality to life through the Gospel. So for us who follow Christ, death no longer exists; we are immortal! This calls for instant and forever rejoicing. That God can give us all the strength we need to live for him is unquestionable. If we submit ourselves to the Lord, he turns us into powerhouses!
If you always follow God's will, you will have his peace in your heart. This is a peace so precious that if you can keep it, you'll have eternal life. There are so many material temptations out there that can easily rob us of this peace. We are tempted to buy the currently hot stocks, latest version cell phones, new fancy cars, fashionable clothing, etc. If acquiring any of these things will make you lose your peace, then don't do it! Never let anyone or most of all your own ego pressure you into giving in to any such temptation. Remain humble to stay on the straight path to eternal life and rejoice. It won't be long before you arrive at the end of your journey and you'll be glad that you've kept your inner peace.
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Psalm 90 provides today's responsorial. Here's verse 10: Seventy is the sum of our years, or eighty, if we are strong. And most of them are fruitless toil, for they pass quickly and we drift away. It makes me realize how easy it is to waste the little time we have on earth, time we could and should use to glorify God and store up treasures in heaven in preparation for our return to him. Remember that every moment we're alive is sustained by God, so every such moment we should serve him out of gratitude.
Monday, June 1, 2020
I finally understood. The Lord God created us, loves us, and knows all about us. The only way for us finite beings to know him, understand him, and appreciate him is to let him draw us deep into him, for on our own we are powerless to enter him. When you abandon yourself entirely to him, you enter a universe in union with him and begin your eternal life. Today June 1 is Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. The Gospel reading for today's Mass came from John 19.25-34. From the cross, Jesus gave his own mother to John the Apostle to be his mother. Shortly afterwards in verse 30, Jesus said, "It is finished." Bowing his head, he handed over the spirit. As soon as I finished reading this verse, the Holy Spirit hit me with a joy so powerful I felt as if lightning had struck me! How comforting to know that I am his now.
Youngsters do what they feel like doing. I myself had done many things on a whim when I was young. As we grow older, we do things more looking our age. When we become old, we just have to give up many things we can no longer do. You just don't see oldsters learning how to skateboard, do you? In general, we do what's sensible for us to do. But as Christians, do we also grow sensibly? Age is not a factor here. A Christian should do things that befit his image as a Christian. A worldly Christian will simply appear to be hypocritical. To grow sensibly spiritually, the solution is to constantly submit ourselves to God.
Satan loves to sow confusion to create chaos in our world, specifically within the Church. All the more that we need to focus unwaveringly upon Christ the Lord and not allow anything, no matter what the source is or how interesting or miraculous it might seem, to make us question or doubt our faith in him. This faith is as precious to us as our soul is. Seek to attain union with the Lord to safeguard both your faith and soul.
Sunday, May 31, 2020
If one keeps on sinning, he can reach a point of no return in the sense that he will not be able to overcome his sins anymore. On the other hand, one can reach for God in advance to prevent ever committing any serious sin. Best of all, seek union with the Lord right away no that sin no longer becomes an issue. Sin is real and deadly. Dwell in the Lord is the most effectively way to deal with it (or rather not to deal with it).
Today is Pentecost Sunday. On that day, when the Holy Spirit descended upon all those gathered, the Church was born. This is the perfect day for us to let the Lord Spirit take full possession of us so that we may be liberated and set afire with the love of God—to be made anew! Make today the day of your rebirth too.
When the Lord fills us with joy, we can cry with joy. When we hear sad news such as the global child sex trafficking I posted about, we can cry too. In this case, we feel sorry for the children, but deep down we feel sad because the evildoers are hurting the Lord God who loves them. Since we feel the pain for the sake of our Lord, we are drawn even closer to him and our suffering becomes bearable and even sweet. Yes, the Lord always gives joy to those who love him!
I know of one person who rents a house and pays her rent always late with penalty. Why doesn't she make a simple switch to paying on time, since she pays every month anyway? But for some reason, she just keeps putting off doing this. This brings to my mind the people who think that they might accept Christ, but keeps putting it off. You can put off doing many things, but believing in the true God is not something you should casually lay aside, for you do not know how much longer you'll be around. Jesus advised us to remain vigilant and be ready for his Second Coming two thousand years ago. With us getting closer to that day, his advice is becoming more urgent than ever. We need to snap out of our inaction, for we are dealing with eternal life and eternal death!
Saturday, May 30, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 21, the disciple John asked Jesus, "Master, who is the one who will betray you?" Peter saw John and asked Jesus, "Lord, what about him?" Jesus answered Peter, "What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me." We know that John lived to a ripe old age and Peter got crucified later upside down. It is clear that the Lord has a plan for each one of us and we are to mind our own plan only by following him.
If we do not know the God of Christ, we would sin, struggle, sin, struggle, continuing thus without end. We would be enslaved by sin, remain in darkness, and die in sin. Christ is the only one who can free us from sin, bring us out of darkness into light, make us clean and fit for enjoying eternal life in heaven. For this alone, we need be grateful to God.
Following the post Evil You Need to Know of May 28, I am airing Candace Owens' interview with Tim Ballard of February this year. Child sex trafficking has to be as abominable as abortion. If we love God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind, then we must fight evil with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind.
As I was praying the Rosary while walking outside the house this morning, the Holy Spirit made me see that when we pray the Our Father, the prayer Jesus gave us, slowly, word by word, and mean everything we say with all our heart, the Father hears it in his heart and will draw us as close to him as possible as his most beloved children.
Friday, May 29, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 21, Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him and foretold the kind of death he would glorify God. Does the Lord know the kind of death each of us will have? I believe that if we are like Peter who knew that he had been chosen and remained faithful and that he's going to the Lord in heaven, then yes. For those who still have not chosen Christ yet, then how they're going to die will depend upon what action they take in the remainder of their lives. Choosing Christ settles everything! Not choosing him is to live in great uncertainty always.
If you trust God, he will trust you. If you acknowledge him before others, he will acknowledge you. If you are proud of him, he'll be proud of you. If you reject him, he will not know you. If you please him, you become pleasing to him. If you humble yourself before him, he will humble himself to exalt you. If you share everything in your heart with him, he will reveal what's in his heart to you! If you want to be one with him, he is ready for you too! Now you can control how you want God to respond to you.
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Evil is real. Some stories can break your heart. Most of us do not hear much about child trafficking, but there are millions of victims out there. This new short video brings some good news. Tim Ballard is inspiring and admirable, and his organization Operation Underground Railroad deserves our support and prayer. The other earlier short video that follows tells you something about Tim and his operation. (You may want to watch more videos about Tim and O.U.R. on YouTube.)
God's commandments are to be obeyed without question. If you believe in Jesus, you must do what he asks you to do without delay. Either he is your Lord or he is not. When Jesus called the Apostles to follow him, they dropped everything and followed him instantly. If you hesitate, you are unfit. Trust in him completely and your reward and satisfaction will be great!
I saw the film Quartet on Roku. It's about retired musicians all living at a quite beautiful home together. Naturally, with many residents who were quite famous before, you see some showing big egos. But there are also others with kind hearts. One male resident particularly enjoys flirting with one female staff member. What you see is how we typically behave everywhere else. The story does end happily. This is a movie fun to watch. My thoughts are that we need to lift our life out of ordinary existence. Embracing Christ puts us on a higher plane. Enjoying fun in the world just keeps us on the lower level, not experiencing any spiritual joy and liberty. This is unsatisfying to me, while we can have the whole of our Lord God to ourselves!
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 17, Jesus prayed to the Father. I am going to put some of his sayings together to make my point. Jesus said, "Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one. When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them. Consecrate them in the truth. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth." I see that once we've been chosen by God, our relationship to him becomes truly deeper and more intimate than we can possibly realize. So seeking union with God is exactly the right thing for us to do—we simply acknowledge that God so wants us to be his and we want to cooperate. Union can now take place.
In today's reading 1 from Acts 20, Paul continued to speak to the presbyters of the Church of Ephesus, admonishing, encouraging, and edifying them, as he was going to depart from them. When he had finished speaking, he knelt down and prayed with them all. They wept loudly, for they were deeply distressed that he had said that they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship.
Such is life on earth. When we leave this world, we'll be departing from all those whom we've loved or known. Our concern should be if we'll ever see them again in heaven. Once in heaven, we'll have our most beloved Father with us forever, no more departing! This is what we should look forward to always.
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 17, Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ."
Today is the Memorial of St. Philip Neri. In reading1 from Acts 20, Paul addressed the presbyters of the Church at Ephesus, "Now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, except that in one city after another the Holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me." This is how we should live the Christian life, letting the Holy Spirit prompt and compel us, not knowing fully what will happen. Following Christ is an adventure. We don't see the immediate detail, but we know that we are doing the right thing and heading in the right direction. It is downright exciting and comforting. Paul also knew that none of those to whom he was speaking would ever see his face again. Is this something sad? Not if you follow the Lord exclusively. The joy of seeing anyone again in heaven will surely far exceed any sorrow of separation you feel on earth. God alone is more than sufficient for all of us!
When we pray for someone to come back to God, it doesn't seem to happen and we get disheartened. It has to be that God wants us to give up worrying and place our whole trust in him. In Mark 11, Jesus said to his disciples "I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours." Trust, not worry, is what the Lord wants from us and it is through trust that our prayers are answered!
God says to us: "My children, I created you out of love. You disobeyed me, but I still love you just the same. Obey me from now on and return to me, for I am ready to have you back to enjoy eternity with me in paradise."
We respond (not sure about addressing God as Father): "Well, I'll have to think about it." (No thank you or goodbye.)
I wear both the Brown Scapular and the Miraculous Medal because I believe that I would receive the spiritual benefits the Blessed Mother had promised through St. Simon Stock and St. Catherine Labouré, respectively. The biggest promise for wearing the Brown Scapular is this one: "Whosoever dies wearing it shall not suffer eternal fire." This is an unbeatable promise. As for the Miraculous Medal, those who wear it with confidence will receive great graces. I can testify personally that the Lord has been pouring graces on me nonstop since I wore it. Mind you, wearing the Scapular or the Medal is not being superstitious. It is simply an act showing that you do trust in God's promises. I am posting an older Fr. Mark Goring video to let him explain the Brown Scapular to you. Of course, you can find all about the Scapular and the Medal online.
Monday, May 25, 2020
In today's Gospel from John 16, Jesus said to his disciples, "Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me." In union with Jesus, you will know that Jesus is with you. And since the Father is with him, the Father is with you too. And the Holy Spirit too. Jesus said in Matthew 23, "Whoever humbles himself will be exalted." Now you humble yourself to let God be your Lord totally and he exalts you to be in union with the glorious Holy Trinity!
Today is Memorial Day in USA. We honor all those who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. They are heroes for sacrificing themselves for their (and our) country. Then I thought of those who got killed while committing a crime, not dying for any good cause. Many others simply died of old age. At the other extreme, Christians got martyred for their faith. We all die for various reasons. If we just live for God alone, then no matter how we die, we'd be glorifying God. This is the best reason for us to leave this world.
A lot of things can happen in life. We may lose our job, our home, loved ones, etc., but life must go on, right? Then I see that life in Christ is a continuous journey to where he is forever. What we encounter along the way are simply distractions, tests, or lessons. As nothing can possibly take us away from the Lord, nothing can possibly stop or derail our journey to him. And this is a beautiful awareness and feeling. Lord Jesus, I am coming! Viva Cristo Rey!
Sunday, May 24, 2020
Before Jesus was taken up into heaven, he commanded the eleven Apostles to go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature, and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28, Mark 16). Now two thousand years later, the command should still be in effect, as not every creature and nations have become disciples of Christ. We are now the Apostles and should make proclaiming the gospel our first order of business!
Today's Gospel reading are the first 11 verses of John 17. Jesus was fulfilling all the prophecies of the Old Testament. He now knew that his hour had come to accomplish the work the Father had given him to do, giving eternal life to the ones he had given him. And he would be leaving the world and going to the Father. All this is most amazing. You can be sure that his Second Coming will be fulfilled in due time.
Today's reading 2 comes from 1 Peter 4. Peter wrote: "If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. Whoever is made to suffer as a Christian should not be ashamed but glorify God because of the name." So if we are insulted for being Christians, we know that the Holy Spirit rests upon us. And if we are made to suffer as Christians, we glorify God. No matter what, we get blessed.
It's hard for many Catholics not being able to attend Mass to receive the Lord in the Holy Eucharist. This Most Holy Sacrament is essential in helping us complete our union with God on earth. But if you have already attained union with the Lord, you know that you already belong to him and that he shall keep you forever. Therefore, even though you cannot receive him physically for the time being, you receive great consolation knowing that he is already in you and with you. This is another union advantage. The one you yearn for the most is already one with you.
Saturday, May 23, 2020
I have already mentioned the Aerial America series on the Smithsonian Channel. Today I watched the state of Illinois from the air. Of course, Chicago being the most prominent city of the state, was featured. The narration began with the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, touched upon the past corruption of the city officials, told how notorious gangsters Al Capone and John Dillinger operated, etc. Anyway, as I saw the earth from above, it was clear that we are all bound to the earth. We can move around the earth, but cannot get off it very far. Even if we go to another planet, we still cannot escape gravity. I see my brief existence on earth as a period of imprisonment for my sins. All the more I long for God to set me free after this life. Most fortunately, Christ has already promised me to do just that! For this, I rejoice greatly in him.
Friday, May 22, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 16, Jesus said to his disciples: "Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy." The Lord was talking about his impending crucifixion and resurrection. I can't help seeing that we are going through the same experience now. Christians are weeping and mourning over the persecution of Christ and his followers, while the world is rejoicing over that. But our grief will ultimately turn into great joy when we meet Christ in person! History does have a way of repeating itself.
The world is polarized. You have the rich vs. the poor, conservatives vs. liberals, globalists vs. nationalists, socialism vs. capitalism, pro-abortionists vs. pro-lifers, etc. At the most fundamental level, it comes down to God vs. Satan, i.e., good vs. evil. Believing in the God of Christ is the only way for us to become unified. It's all up to us. All up to us.
Union with God is the best way to stop sinning, for in union the Lord completely shields you and removes your tendency to sin. The way to fight sin is to stop it at the earliest possible stage. Nick it in the bud! The smart, way of beating Satan is to turn away from him, not out of fear, but to thwart him. You want to have nothing to do with him. Disregard him, ignore him, and focus upon the Lord Jesus instead. With Satan, treat him as a nobody and he becomes a nobody to you. On the other hand, with God, treat him as everything and he becomes everything to you!
You have heard that we should live everyday as our last day on earth. This is good advice, so we don't waste time doing things that won't help us get into heaven. Many people wish that before they die they could reconcile themselves with any loved ones who are estranged from them. Well, thinking that this might be your last day on earth can get you started on restoring those relationships right now. You do your part to make the move, so you'll be in the clear, and leave the outcome to God. We want to face God knowing that we've done all we can to be clean and blameless for both his and our own sake.
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Today is The Ascension of the Lord. The Gospel reading came from Matthew 28. The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. The Risen Lord appeared and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." So there will be an end of the age. Whether it be tomorrow or a million years from now, it doesn't matter. Just as the dinosaurs had become extinct, the world as we know it will come to an end. Now is the time to prepare for our future. Not making heaven is so much worse than becoming extinct. Now is the time to trust in Christ to cast aside all uncertainties.
The Lord made me see that when Christians knowingly sin against him, they betray him as Judas Iscariot did. It doesn't matter how you appear on the outside to others, what kind of mansion you live in, what kind of position you hold in or outside the Church, the Lord knows every single heart. I feel the greatest sorrow for people who knowingly do evil things and never show any sign of repentance, and you see plenty of them today. You can still sin and be smart and repent, knowing that God loves all sinners. But to sin and remain in sin and not repent, that surely takes the cake.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John16, Jesus said to his disciples, "Everything that the Father has is mine." In the parable of the lost son (Luke 15), the father said to the elder son, "My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours." In Romans 8, Paul wrote: We are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him. In conclusion, everything God has can be ours! Think about it and rejoice. Also, everything God has is good. It is impossible that he will not give us what's good for us when we ask for it. We can even have the Lord God, the Father, to ourselves!
In today's reading 1 from Acts 17, Paul said to the Athenians that it's in God that we live and move and have our being. How true! Without God, we won't even be here. But as sinners, we lack one thing: not all of us have given God our heart yet. So we just go through the motion of living, moving, and having our being in God. Give your heart to God and we can say that we live, move, have our being, and are returning to our God.
As I was walking and praying outside the house this morning, the Lord made me see that the more we trust in him, the more we shall experience his wonders. Obviously, if there's zero trust, you won't experience him at all. Most Christians have some faith in God, so they experience him to some extent. But if you put all your trust in him, he will support you to the max! The truth is that our Father has always wanted to support us fully; it's us who won't let him do it. Such a loving Father will never leave us as orphans. Put all your faith in him. Do not struggle and labor on your own. Rely upon him completely to experience his love and care. Let him catch you whenever you fall!
By the way, it had happened quite a few times in the past that I would have a thought to post and find out that Fr. Mark Goring had basically the same thought presented on his YouTube video that day. Today I got back into the house and watched his new video and the same thing happened again. You can hear him below.
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
In today's reading 1 from Acts 16, Paul and Silas were put in prison in Philippi. About midnight, while they were praying and singing hymns to God, there was suddenly such a severe earthquake that the foundations of the jail shook; all the doors flew open and the chains of all were pulled loose. When the jailer woke up and saw all this, he trembled with fear. He rushed into Paul and Silas' cell and fell down before the two. Then he brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved." So simple, right? But what bothers me is that people are willing to go through hoops to win some trivial prize, yet they don't even want to consider believing in Jesus to be saved forever! Something is very wrong here for sure.
You can accumulate and store up treasures of the world, but they are perishable and can never be truly yours. Besides, when you die, you have to give them up all if they haven't perished yet. Then if you follow Christ and serve him faithfully, you accumulate and store up treasures in heaven that will never perish. When you get to where they are in the end, they are yours forever! The difference between the foolish and the wise is even greater than that between earth and heaven.
No matter what you face or go through, you have peace deep down in your heart. Suffering for God's sake is a joy. God is now your greatest joy. You trust in the Lord and are no longer concerned about consequences. Anxieties and worries are gone. All his will is now your will. In your urge to praise the Lord, you receive the gift of praising him in tongues. When a Spirit-filled priest pray over you, you rest in the Spirit and experience profound peace. You feel completely liberated. You know that you are in the Lord.
Life is all about how much you submit yourself to God. Our time on earth is limited. We can let God be our God or play God ourselves—these are the two extremes. As long as we do our best to let God be our Lord, we are on the right track. Once you attain union with God through the Holy Eucharist, you belong to him totally and are ready to enjoy eternal life. Receiving the flesh and blood of the Lord completes and perfects that union.
Monday, May 18, 2020
How do I know that Christ is true God? My answer: the Spirit of truth reveals it to me. It sounds as if I am trying to avoid an argument, but I am telling you as straight as I can. Truth is never complicated nor roundabout. It's always blunt and never slippery. It cannot be scientifically proven. If you have to explain a truth, it cannot be one. Truth always challenges us to accept it or reject it, so faith is required. And you must discover it on your own.
When you are in union with the Lord, no barrier exists between you and him. When you meet another person also in union with him, no barrier exists between you and that person either. The Lord breaks down all barriers among those in union with him. It follows that the best possible friends we can find in this life are to be found through union with the Lord.
In Luke 12.51, Jesus said, "Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division." That Jesus causes division is precisely because he is the one against whom we'll all be measured. We choose either to follow his example or not to follow his example.
Sunday, May 17, 2020
John 14.23, today's verse before the Gospel: Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord, and my Father will love him and we will come to him. When they come to us, of course they are not just going to say hello and leave; they are going to enter and stay with us! Union with God is promised here.
In today's reading 2 from 1 Peter 3, Peter advises all to keep the conscience clear and remain righteous. This is truly the right way to live. If you are blameless in the eyes of God, who can really harm you? Whatever others do to you no longer matters.
After watching today's Fr. Goring video, I am prompted to post my own thoughts on praising God. Catholics in general are not used to praying aloud spontaneously. During my involvement in the Catholic Charismatic Movement four decades ago, I learned that openly praising God was the key to receiving the Holy Spirit in full. We thank God a lot, but we don't praise him enough. The Lord loves hearing us praising him. The charismatics say "I praise you, Lord" repeatedly. After all, there really are not many other ways of saying it. In the urge to praise God (in frustration, you could say), strange words start to flow out of the mouth. This is the beginning of singing or praising God in tongues. It is really the natural outcome of wanting to praise God as prompted by the Holy Spirit. Speaking in tongues can also mean speaking a language the speaker personally does not know. I believe that's a more special gift the Lord gives with a different purpose. Anyway, we must not stop praising God, whether we do it in tongues or not. Wonderful things will surely happen to anyone who praises the Lord unceasingly.
First, God is almighty and nothing is impossible for him. Secondly, he loves us! Yes, he absolutely loves us! So we should feel free to approach him and ask for whatever we want. If what we ask for pleases him, we shall receive it. If not, we shan't and know that we were wrong. At any rate, God would be pleased that we regard him to be our loving Father, as long as we don't intentionally sin against him.
I want to talk about Jesus only, all the time. I want to tell the whole world about Jesus! Why? Because he is pure joy, the greatest joy we can possibly experience! This is the joy that comes from heaven and can gladden our souls and uplift our spirits. This is the joy that can purify our hearts, wipe clean our conscience and make us forget all our troubles and sufferings. If everyone is filled with this joy, we'll have peace on earth. It is irrepressible, to be enjoyed to the fullest by the soul. It surely is the greatest gift from God, the Lord himself. How I wish that everyone will given in to him to experience such sweet joy! Then we can all live happy, die happy, and be happy forever.
Saturday, May 16, 2020
There are many ways of living out there for us to choose from. With the world in such a horrible shape, I see clearly that there are only two basic ways of living: we either live in Christ or outside of him! It is critical that we make a choice at this most fundamental level ASAP while we still have time.
In today's Gospel reading from John 15, Jesus told his disciples that the world did not know the one who sent him and thereby hated him and them for not belonging to it. Dear Christians, be aware that the world is your enemy, so do not fall in love with it. Evil has infiltrated and influenced the world to a large extent, setting it up as a trap to ensnare as many souls as possible between now and final judgment. Don't fall for it. Stop seeking happiness in this world. Instead, detach yourself from the world by seeking refuge in the Lord so that you may survive safely till eternity. Christ is our only hope, the one who can vanquish evil.
Miracles are wonderful and shouldn't surprise us. They serve a purpose. But it you already have faith, you don't need to witness them anymore. Remember what Christ has said to Thomas: Blessed are those who have not seen, and have believed. Besides, Jesus as the enabler of all miracles has to be greater and more glorious than all of them. He has already come to us himself. So if you already believe in him, you only need to focus upon him and not the miracles.
Christians are given the greatest commandment "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all you heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." So if we truly love and follow the Lord, we must go all out, not do it only when we feel like doing it. God has already gone all out for us—see how he showed his greatest love by dying on the cross for us! With God, it has to be an all-or-nothing proposition for us, or we are not taking the greatest commandment very seriously.
In Mark 11, Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours." To believe that you will receive what you ask for is to abandon yourself entirely to the Lord. This is what Jesus wishes from us. This is what having faith is all about!
Friday, May 15, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 15, Jesus also said to his disciples, "I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father." Pay attention to everything Jesus has said and we know exactly what God wants us to know.
We all have happy memories and bad memories, but it's the happy ones that can keep us attached to the past. Being oversentimental is a form of self-indulgence, which can weaken us spiritually. A Christian should always look forward to meeting the Lord in person, as the past is gone forever and the best is sure to come.
Today's Gospel comes from John 15. Jesus said to his disciples, "This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." I see that when one regards himself as the most important person, he becomes a self-centered slave to himself. So if one is able to lay down his life for his friends, then he is free, as Jesus has demonstrated that to us himself! Love is truly the key to freedom, and we can be like Jesus when we surrender ourselves to him.
Thursday, May 14, 2020
Today is the feast of St. Matthias, who replaced Judas Iscariot as the new Apostle. In the Gospel reading from John 15, Jesus continued to speak to the disciples. He said to them, "As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love. I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete." To me, Jesus is calling us to remain in union with him, and it's in union that we will experience him as our sole joy.
For all ages past, people have looked for some god or gods to worship, adore, praise, and glorify. If there is an extraordinary almighty, holy God, then of course we need to look into it. I am not even talking about salvation of our souls. Then we have Jesus with outstanding character and virtue, infinite mercy, and amazing power who fits the bill perfectly and more—how can we not worship, adore, praise, and glorify him? With such a beautiful Lord to worship, our lives are fulfilled and made complete. That those who believe in him receive freedom, peace, and joy only confirms that he is the true God.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 15, Jesus said to his disciples: "Remain in me, as I remain in you. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit." Jesus is talking about being in union with him. We must remain in him completely, not just partway in. He also said: "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples." I just asked for something I'd wanted and now wait for it to be done for me. Remain in Jesus and bear fruit to glorify the Father—this surely has to be the most beautiful assignment we can ever have. 💮💮💮
Most people are open to hearing whatever they come across daily, yet when they hear "Christ is Lord" proclaimed, they often don't even want to think about it. How come? Could it be that he challenges us to the core? That he would expose us as we are, thus making us feel uneasy? That he might be the true God who knows everything? I think so. In Philippians 2, Paul wrote: "At the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." I believe that Paul was saying exactly what he knew to be true.
There are only so many ways you can help others. You can help them financially or give them materials things to fulfill their needs; you can give them good advice or inspire them by your example as a believer in God; and lastly, you can pray for them. The outcome is still up to the person you try to help. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. So, beware of your limitations and leave it all to God.
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 14, Jesus said to his disciples: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid." You can be sure that Jesus wants to give us his peace, When we accept it, we will have untroubled and unafraid hearts.
As humans, we seek pleasure in this world to satisfy ourselves. Such pleasures don't last long, but can still enslave us. The source is always external. When we are overdosed with them, they can turn distasteful. Temporarily they give some people something to live for, but the emptiness of life remains. On the other hand, heavenly joy can only come from God. It emanates from the inner heart and affects your whole being, your soul! Its sweetness is intoxicating. Once you have tasted it, all worldly pleasures are no longer tasty. This joy uplifts and refreshes your spirit every time you experience it because it comes from above. It makes you yearn for God. It's definitely heavenly!
Christians especially face persecution today in these dark times. I reported earlier how California officials delayed permitting a mansion to be used for housing sex trafficking victims just because Catholics were going to run the operation. More recently, an evangelical Christian organization built a new field hospital in New York designed to treat any overflow patients from a nearby hospital, but city officials did not trust the organization just because the church opposed same-sex marriage. When we cause others to sin also, our sin becomes a lot more serious. It's the same with preventing others from doing good.
Monday, May 11, 2020
In today's Gospel from John 14, Jesus said to his disciples: "Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him" and again "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him." All this is just so beautiful, filling my heart with joy! So it is love that will get God to come to dwell with us and reveal himself to us. In sum, open your heart up to let the love of God lead you to full union with him.
Sunday, May 10, 2020
I followed Fr. Mark Goring's Sunday Mass on TV today. In his homily, he says that we are made for heaven. That resonates with me. Yes, God's sole wish is to save us from sin so that we may go to heaven; we are made to be heaven-bound! Why would you ever want to go against God's intention to your own detriment? Wouldn't that be sheer folly? Obviously, we are not made for living on this earth forever. As Jesus said to Pilate, "My kingdom does not belong to this world," we are never meant to belong this world either.
Today is Mother's Day. Many mothers receive good wishes, presents, and special treats. All this is fine. My thoughts are that we almost always follow customs and traditions or do things simply to fulfill our social obligations. But our ways are not usually God's ways. Since God is concerned about saving souls most, it should be proper and fitting that we always do things with the salvation of souls in mind foremost as Christians should.
If you know you are heaven bound, you are most probably right. If you know you are headed for hell instead, you are most probably correct too. What if you are not sure where you'll end up? You are right again. Play it safe by following Christ closely and you needn't be concerned about heaven and hell anymore?
Some scientists come to believe in God as they discover unending scientific wonders, while other scientists come to believe that science can provide answers to all our questions and we no longer need God. What about us who believe in God and are aging rapidly? I know oldsters who have grown so set in their ways that they no longer wish to change in any way, while other aging believers realize that they would have to rely upon God more and more, and finally start to abandon themselves to God. The latter are surely being wise.
Saturday, May 9, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 14, Jesus said to his disciples, "Whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it." Perhaps it would sound more "right" to hear Jesus say "Whatever you ask the Father in my name, the Father will do it" and "If you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will do it." The way Jesus said them only shows that he and the Father are truly one. The Father could have said all that to us.
John 31B-32, today's Gospel acclamation: If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, says the Lord. When you listen to the Lord and obey him, you get to know him. Since he is the truth, to know him is to know the truth. This is logical. I can also vouch for this truth from my own experience. After I got to know the Lord most intimately, he let me know who he is. When God lets you know something, you just know without any doubt, for he plants it right in your heart as only he as your creator can. You now know that he is in you. This makes you fall in love with him even more!
People show their love in different ways. Some call you often to see how you are doing; some tell you that they love you or send you presents; some don't say much but always do things for you; still others may donate money or just pray for you. Which way is best? That depends upon the motivation behind the deed. All acts done for the sake of the Lord God meaningful to him would have to be ranked best.
Foolish Living: Going all out to satisfy the desire for pleasure and gain, but living without inner peace. Eternity uncertain.
Wise Living: Casting aside the desire for worldly things and living a life known and pleasing to God only in peace and joy. Eternity locked in with Christ.
The foolish ones view the wise ones as boring people and feel sorry for them for not knowing how to enjoy life, while the wise ones think that the foolish ones are, well, foolish, and feel sorry that they don't take care of their own souls.
Friday, May 8, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 14, Jesus said to his disciples, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Wow! This has to be one of Jesus' boldest proclamations. It compels us to listen up. "He is the way" tells us that we must follow him to know where we are going. He is our true guide. "He is the truth" tells us that he is the absolute reality. And "He is the life" lets us know that we can have eternal life through him. We always look for things to satisfy ourselves in this life. Jesus is right here telling us that we only need to seek and follow him to be satisfied for all eternity!
Thursday, May 7, 2020
In logic, if a hypothesis leads to a conclusion, then negating the conclusion would necessarily negate the hypothesis. For example, if it is raining, the grass would be wet. If the grass is not wet, then it cannot be raining. The conclusion is irrefutable. Jesus has said in Mark 2 and Luke 5 that he had come not to call the righteous to repentance but sinners. If we are all righteous, we would have no fear and welcome Jesus. But since so many of us avoid facing him, it must be that they are sinners afraid for themselves. Logic does not lie.
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 12, Jesus continued, "If anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak."
These sayings are important for us to understand. Jesus did not come to condemn us. He came to tell us what we should and should not do and left the decision to us. It's like God telling Adam that he's free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, they ended up dying. Now we are being tested again by God. He is giving us a second chance. If we hold fast onto Christ, then we are surely to pass the test. Note that there won't be another second chance this time!
In today's Gospel reading from John 12, Jesus said, "I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness." I see Jesus as the light that illuminates my mind, dispels the darkness around me, exposes what's in my heart that should be removed, and reveals the way to union with him.
If we believe in Jesus, we must see that he uses us to further his kingdom on earth and attune ourselves to the Holy Spirit. If we presume that the Lord is not going to speak to us, of course, we won't hear from him. But if we are all ears and eager to hear from him, we will hear his voice. It is an honor, privilege, and joy to know that the Holy Spirit is with you and that you belong to God's household.
Historically, the world wars, the Holocaust, revolutions, genocides, dictatorial regimes, etc., have killed millions and millions of lives, and we are appalled. Yet most of us seem to have acquiesced to the even greater nonstop killing of the unborn worldwide. Perhaps because the killing is silent and has been legalized by many governments. But this direct and willful termination of life is undeniably denying that God is the author of life and that he loves us and commands us not to kill. In the case of the unborn, the victim is not only innocent, but also defenseless. This has to be a cruelest sin we can possibly commit against God. For this sin alone, we need to repent to God to avoid any further chastisement and damnation of the soul.
We are all marching toward death, and when we face death, there'll be two paths waiting for us. One will take us to heaven and the other to hell. I am just putting up a road sign to warn you of what you might run into ahead. Follow Christ now and I'll change the sign to point to heaven only. Warning of the split is no longer necessary.
Repentance is the key to entering the kingdom of heaven. Christ teaches that and the Church teaches that. Sadly, the Church is not practicing what it preaches. Shouldn't the authorities of the Church to be our shining example openly repent of their corruption, covering up scandals, being timid in condemning and stopping evil such as abortion, failure in teaching the truth such as the real presence of the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, being lax in evangelizing souls, trying to be political correct instead of following only Christ? I am not here to judge . . . I am only echoing what many faithful Catholics feel about the Church today. Repentance is required of every sinner on this earth, even non-Christians.
Today the Lord of Christ lets me see clearly that he is our God, our Light, our Guide, our Model, and our Judge. No one can possibly bypass or hide from him. He is the absolute reality. Blessed are we to have such a God who also loves and understands us. Without him, we are utterly lost. With him, we gain everlasting life. I rejoice that he called me and that following him has been an immense joy.
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 10, Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father's hand. The Father and I are one." Knowing that we shall never perish is already such good news. Knowing that no one can possibly take us out of the Father's hand makes the good news even better. That we can become one with the Father and the Son has got to be the best icing on the cake.
In today's first reading from Acts 11, the disciples went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. A great number believed and turned to the Lord. I am wondering why this is not happening today. First I thought that everyone pretty much has heard about Jesus, so it's nothing new to get excited about anymore. Then I realized that it's because of the allure of the the well-developed material society on the one hand and the lack of zeal and spirit in most Christians on the other hand. Ultimately, it is the lukewarm Church that's responsible for the present situation. If we can be as excited and spirited about our faith as the early Christians, the world would be a lot different today. We have not abandoned ourselves in the Lord completely. Perhaps this is also why we do not see that many miracles being performed today. Only a total recommitment to the Lord by the Church and all of us can turn things around.
Monday, May 4, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 10, Jesus said, "I have power to lay my life down, and power to take it up again." The power of the Lord comes from his will. Whatever he wills, it's done. Since he can will anything, he can do anything. Compared to him, we have zero power, for to accomplish anything, we need to toil and labor. But if we acknowledge to the Lord that we are nothing before him, he will empower us to do good.
If I do something and lose peace, I know that I've gone against the Lord. Then I undo what I've done and regain peace, and I get confirmed. We want to be able to correct all wrongs so that we may leave this world in peace. One thing that can put a heavy burden on our heart is that we are not on speaking terms with someone we love or who used to be close to us. The first thing you can do is to pray for that person (and for yourself too). Then maybe you can send the person a card at Christmas time to wish him or her well. *Take the first step to see how far you can get. Of course, you must forgive that person (and yourself too) before the Lord first. If you die with peace in your heart, you will enter peace. But if you die with a heart in turmoil, you will encounter turmoil on the other side too.
Sunday, May 3, 2020
In reading 2 from 1 Peter 2, Peter wrote: Christ himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls. This is what Christianity is all about and Peter fully realized it then. If we realize it now, it's time for us to become full-fledged Christians.
In Matthew 6.33, Jesus said, "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides." We want so many things, and most of all, we want to make money. We are so busy that we either don't have time to seek the kingdom of God at all or seek it when there is some time left over. Let me testify to you that if you seek to please God first, you'll enjoy freedom and peace and all the things you need will be provided you by God besides. He is most dependable. If you don't try him, it's your loss.
Today's responsorial Psalm is Psalm 23, which consists of only six verses. If the parable of the lost son is the most beautiful parable of all, then Psalm 23 has to be the most beautiful Psalm of all. Verse 4 reads: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me. How can you not feel good when you read this? God is just too beautiful to even imagine! Don't think about going to heaven; just think about being with him forever!
In today's first reading from Acts 2, Peter spoke up at Pentecost, "Let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified." Now when all the people heard this, they were cut to the heart. Letting the Lord cut you to the heart is a sweet experience. It shows that he is with you, he matters to you, and you feel for him. So let him cut you to the heart as much as he wishes. Jesus makes everything sweet for us!
Another Fr. Mark Goring video. I am not specifically promoting him; I am promoting the messages he gives us because they are timely and true. Both heaven and hell are real; Jesus spoke about them. We'll either end up in heaven or in hell after this life is over, yet I cannot recall hearing them being preached much about from the pulpit of our churches. The word "heaven" might have been mentioned in passing, but hell is treated as if it doesn't even exist. Being politically correctly is absolutely incorrect for Christians, who are supposed to follow and speak for Christ only. Avoiding talking about heaven and hell is being timid, weak, negligent, and foolish; it's trying to avoid the unavoidable. Time to wake up to truth and reality, for souls are at stake!
Saturday, May 2, 2020
Our built-in conscience acts like a guide. Whenever we do something that's not good, we feel it. In worst cases, we can lose our sleep. In mild cases, we try to ignore it. But God still knows. If the conscience is not maintained well, it gets dull and becomes finally muddy. Now you can be in danger of losing your soul. Always take care of your conscience by keeping it clean and sharp so that you may be blameless before God, and you'll have peace.
I've read about the Illumination of Conscience that has been prophesied by many to happen to us. It will be an act of God's great mercy to make us see our spiritual state as he sees it. I knew that as long as I were prepared, I would be fine. Then after reading about and watching this video by Christine Watkins on this Warning in the newsletter from Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel's Hope, I realized that I must spread this message to help others prepare themselves too. Please watch the entire video, as it could make all the difference to your soul!
I must have posted Fr. Mark Goring's videos close to twenty times because he is filled with the Holy Spirit and I understand exactly how he feels about Christ. I have heard many testimonies, but his I've just listened to has to be one of the best. Put whatever you're doing aside and listen to his story, for it can make your life new too. Jesus is to be experienced and enjoyed!
These are sad days for the Church as many Catholics no longer believe that the Holy Eucharist is truly the body and blood of Jesus. It is most urgent that the Church authorities should do their utmost to inform and reeducate their flocks of the truth. Sadly, I see only complacency. If this problem is not corrected, the Church will surely decline further and we'll all have to answer to the Lord. It's so sad to see Catholics leaving the Church, not aware that they are going to miss receiving the most precious heavenly gift from God! I am glad that Fr. Mark Goring just put out this video to tell us how important it is to believe in and receive the Holy Eucharist.
Friday, May 1, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 6, Jesus says (verse 56): "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My Blood, remans in me and I in him." To remain in each other is to be one. (If A < B and B < A, then A = B. A mathematical certainty.) It is clear to me that if you truly believe that the Holy Eucharist is the true body and blood of Christ and partake of it, then you and he become one. Union with God is achieved!
In today's first reading from Acts 9, we hear the conversion of Saul. Saul was persecuting the disciples of Christ horribly and Jesus stopped him in the track and asked him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" Read the first 20 verses to to get the whole beautiful story. When you persecute the Lord, he knows. So if you are good to him but do not hear him speak to you audibly, you can be sure that he knows too. The Lord knows every thought we think, ever word we utter, every deed we perform, and more. Do you feel good about this? If you don't, then you definitely have things to hide, not good. If you are glad that the Lords knows all about you, it shows that you trust in him totally, a great sign.
Traditionally, the Church has set aside the month of May to honor our Blessed Mother, Mary, the mother of the Son of God, who is God. Each one of us needs a good mother; this is how God has made us, and Jesus has given us her own mother from the cross. I am going to let Fr. Mark Goring tell you how we all need to invite Mary into our home in the video he posted today.
Evil has infiltrated the world. It has specifically infiltrated the Church, sowing confusion and discord. But we know that the Church of our Lord will prevail in the end, so she is being chastised and pruned now. Also, it could be that end times are near. No matter what, each of us who follow Christ is being tested. We must never abandon the Church and must seek refuge in the Lord more than ever. This is the best time to go deep into our God. All the more we need to seek union with him. It is the solution to all our problems: to become holy ourselves.
Thursday, April 30, 2020
Before this month of April ends in about 30 minutes, I want to end on a high note. There is not a thing in this world we can hold onto, ourselves included, but there is the God of Christ we can hold onto forever. This alone is enough to make life worth living and us rejoice!
If you follow God's will, it will be done. To wish to go to heaven is precisely what God wills for you, so keeping his word and you'll be there for sure. The gate that leads to life may be narrow, but the more you yield to God, the wider it opens up for you. And when you submit yourself to him completely, it vanishes altogether. In sum, how easy your journey to God is depends entirely upon how willing you are to let him carry you.
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 6, Jesus said, "Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the the one who sent me. And this is the will of he one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day."
These sayings reveal some important truths. (1) Jesus did come down from heaven and is the Son of God. (2) When God calls us, we cannot possibly be rejected by him. God calls you only because he wants to save you! If you hear his call and go to him, you are "in." (3) "Everyone who believes in the Son has eternal life"—these nine words are all one needs to know to live on forever in paradise!
Today is the memorial of St. Catherine of Sienna. Reading 1 from Acts 8 tells about the persecution of the Church, scattering all followers except the Apostles throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria. Our world is in chaos today too. In this country alone, so many voices are out there attacking others nonstop. You can't even get everyone together to agree on loving our own country, let alone believing in one God. Without faith in the one God of Christ, the world will sadly remain in chaos until the Second Coming of the Lord.
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 6, Jesus said to the crowd, "The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." Again, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." I see that that Jesus had prefigured the Holy Eucharist here. As our Lord and our God, he is truly the only one who can satisfy our spiritual hunger and quench our spiritual thirst. Go to him and believe in him, and your are set for eternity.
In today's reading 1 from Acts 7, as Stephen was stoned to death at the feet of Saul (Paul), he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell to his knees and cried in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them"; and when he said this, he fell asleep. Now Saul was consenting to his execution. We sometimes don't mind openly or secretly that the people we consider bad or just plain don't like would meet some tragic end. But wishing ill of anyone is a sin, for God loves us all! Also, in so wishing, you have judged them. Instead, we should pray for our "enemies" as St. Stephen did. Ask the Lord to crush all evil but save all souls.
Monday, April 27, 2020
People get upset or lose peace over so many things. Know that we ourselves are not perfect, cannot be in control of all things, and are living in an imperfect sinful world. Besides, who are we to think that we should always be in control and have our ways? As Christians, God should be our only Lord. In any case, getting upset or losing peace is justifiable only if you know you might not make heaven.
In today's Gospel reading from John 6, people asked Jesus, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?" He answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent." God has made it simple and straight for us—we only need to believe in Jesus. It's the very opposite of taking an obstacle course. With faith, we can simply accomplish anything in his name.
Sunday, April 26, 2020
If you don't surrender yourself to God just because you don't like to hear the word "surrender," there are other ways. Beg God to have mercy on you, meaning it from your very heart, or open yourself up completely to him, and you shall accomplish the same thing.
The Smithsonian Channel has produced the TV series Aerial America showing how each state looks from the air. As you watch the episodes, you also learn about the various historical landmarks and well-known buildings and homes. I came away with a picture that people in the past fought wars, built forts, started businesses, became big and constructed huge homes . . . in general, laboring away the whole time on earth. This is like living on a plane and never getting up into space. If we can connect with God, then we are lifted out of the two-dimensional space into the third dimension. This is the move the wise make to be freed from this mundane world for ever.
Saturday, April 25, 2020
Our ultimate goal is to become one with God. The greatest obstacle in my spiritual journey turns out to be ourselves. For we wish to be our own god and not want anyone else to restrict or control us, not realizing that God knows us thoroughly and is the only one who can free me from the enslavement we have imposed upon ourselves. Eventually, we know that we need God, but yielding ourselves to him is no easy task. The truth is that more you get out of God's way, the closer you become to him! I can also say that the more you let go in him, the more he is going to carry you to make your journey easy. When you surrender yourself completely to God, you become one with him and you are finally free! Following him is now effortless and a joy. The world no longer has any power over you, for you belong to him and are heaven bound. To all of you who are journeying toward the Lord, do not ever get discouraged. Know that every time you give up some of your control to him, your journey becomes easier.
You want to be receptive to God so that you may see clearly what he wishes you to do for his glory. If there are other things you want to do on your own, you should also clear them with him to see that doing them is also for his glory. This is the harder part. It means you must abandon yourself totally to the Lord. But if you can do that, you'll experience immense freedom and peace and know that you've done the right thing. Again, this is how God has made us.
Thursday, April 23, 2020
I am thinking about how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. After he received word saying that Lazarus was ill, he did not rush to him, knowing that the illness was not to end in death, but was for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified through it. He remained for two days where he was. Knowing that Lazarus had now died, he and his disciples left for Bethany, the village Lazarus was from. By then, Lazarus had been dead for four days. The two sisters of Lazarus, Martha and Mary, both said to Jesus, "If you had been here, my brother would not have died." Jesus ordered to have the stone that lay across the opening of the tomb removed and cried out in a loud vice, "Lazarus, come out!" The man came out.
The lesson I learned is that God knows what he is doing and is always a step ahead of us. So we can confidently follow him in contentment, watching his glory unfold.
Ir occurs to me that how God will judge us is absolutely brilliant. You see, we are all given our free will so that how we deal with others determines how God will deal with us. You might say that he lets us set our own standards. He will forgive us the way we forgive others. How we judge others will determine how he is going to judge us. If we do not acknowledge him, he will not acknowledge us later either. If we reject him, we'll only get ourselves rejected by him. The is a totally fair system that makes us responsible for our choices. We can't complain about it. But there is one provision there that favors us: we can repent and reset our standards anytime to make sure we'll be well treated by the Lord.
Evildoers would think that good is bad and evil is good. But even if we follow the Lord faithfully, we can be wrong too, as human judgment is not always reliable. In recent news, some people think one public official is a good person, while others believe that he cannot be trusted. Who's right? We are not sure, since we don't see what's truly in his heart. Only the Lord God who knows all truths is qualified to judge both the good and the bad.
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
We know that God's thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are our ways his ways. (Isaiah 55.8.) We also know that God sees what's in our heart and we don't. I had traveled and seen many buildings that were beautiful and magnificent, and some cities were full of them. They could be cathedrals, palaces, museums, hotels, business centers, shopping malls, etc. Since I couldn't look inside people's hearts, everything looked good. If I could have seen as God sees, I would have been most likely shocked and never want to look at people (and myself) again. But we do know what's in our own heart. So if we can all make our own heart clean and pure, we'll have a truly beautiful world in God's eyes.
In today's Gospel reading from John 3, the Apostle wrote: "This is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God." So I can say that if you have no hesitation in sharing all that's in your heart with God, then you have been living the truth.
Union with God liberates you. You know it when your tendency to sin is gone. While evildoers always scheme and plot to sin, you simply try to do good every present moment. You also experience peace because your thoughts are clean and you no longer think about anything that pulls you away from God. You find all trivial, mundane, phony, impure, worldly thoughts boring or even sickening, for you have seen or experienced the beauty, purity, and holiness of God.
Last night I watched the documentary Footprints: The Path of Your Life on Netflix. It's about ten young men from Arizona following their parish priest, Fr. Sergio of Spain, to walk the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain. It's a grueling 500-mile journey that took 40 days to complete. This ancient path has been traveled by pilgrims for centuries. The destination is the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral where the remains of the Apostle St. James is believed to have been buried. Anyway, the hikers went through pouring rain, suffered physical pain, lost their way, but also witnessed beautiful inspiring landscapes. More importantly, they all came to learn more about themselves and what they should focus upon, became motivated, and were drawn closer to God. Such an experience can definitely benefit most city dwellers who are so tied up with and weighed down by the affairs of the world. Again, I'd like to add that once you have attained union with God, he shall be dwelling within you, keeping you refreshed and inspired. You have now reached the end of your spiritual journey, for you have captured the Lord! Whatever that's beautiful or inspiring you wish to experience, you now find it right there in your God.
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Our Lord is a personal God, but it takes two to tango. We must at least be open to him to keep a relationship. When we open up completely to him in humble submission, God and us become united as one and we experience liberation, peace, and joy! The Holy Eucharist serves as the catalyst and the seal. This is the dream union every human being should be in, the thrust of this blog. And God's invitation is always there while you are in exile on earth.
Monday, April 20, 2020
If you reject Christ as your Savior, it's no different from committing suicide. In either case, you end up condemning yourself. Accept Christ the author of life to have life and have it abundantly. He will fill you with more life and hope than ever, leading you to eternal salvation! That's why we call it the gospel, the good news. It's in reality the most fantastic, incredible news!
In today's Gospel reading from John 3, Jesus explained to Nicodemus how one must be born from above: "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born of water and spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, 'You must be born from above.' The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." I now fully understand why the Lord is more real than anyone I see on earth, and I feel his presence and know that he dwells in me. If you ask me how I know all this, all I can say is that if you'd been born from above, you'd know it too. Know God first and you'll have no more questions.
If you feel depressed, down-hearted, discouraged, that your heart is heavy, that life is empty . . . it's God letting you know that you need him. This is how he has made us! Only he can truly satisfy us and make us happy. Life is temporal and we need to secure our eternal existence to be happy forever. You need to wake up and get in touch with the Lord of Christ, your Savior, who is readily accessible. Cry out to him from your heart and he hears you instantly. By the way, two of my friends who were outwardly very successful had committed suicide; the news shocked me. How I wish that they had known Christ and realized that life in him could be such a joy! It's like you are drowning and not aware that the life boat is right there in front of you. So, to avert any tragic ending of your life, get in touch with Christ the Lord of love and mercy and submit yourself to him if you haven't yet. It would be not only tragic, but also extremely foolish, to let your own pride kill you.
Sunday, April 19, 2020
On this Divine Mercy Sunday, I hit post #10,000. I started blogging in September 2009, just wanting to get my conversion story out. That didn't take long. After I finished telling it, there were a few more spiritual thoughts and I posted them as well. So from September to December that first year I posted just 24 times. And nothing came to my mind until June of next year, 2010. Thoughts started to pop up in my mind and I duly posted them, never believing that this would continue on too long. But it did continue on and I got the feeling that the Lord was up to something. So I asked him about it, and it became clear the following year in 2011 that I was to spread the message that he desires to draw all to union with him through the Holy Eucharist. As I continued posting, I also realized that he was shaping and molding me too through the teachings I received. It never would have been possible for me to say much about loving God and becoming holy on my own in the days preceding the blog. And the fact that for the last 10 years or so I've never had to think about what to blog next only shows that it's all God's doing. So how much longer I shall go on blogging, I don't know and am not concerned about it. I only wish more and more people will realize that to become one with the Lord is his highest calling for all of us and we can all become saints, for everything is possible with him. The Lord is ready to give you more and more, for he loves to bless you. Say yes to him and your journey will become a great joy. Say no and you'll find it laborious. Wise up to let him carry you all the way to heaven!
It's Divine Mercy Sunday. I rejoice that the Lords's mercy is so great that a sinner like me can get to go to heaven to be with him forever! To trust in the Lord is to trust in his mercy. So the foremost important thing for us to do in this life is to get all our sins forgiven by God. If this is not done, don't waste time thinking about heaven.
Saturday, April 18, 2020
Friday, April 17, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 21, Jesus appeared to seven of his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. Peter, John, and the other disciples went fishing. All night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?" They answered him, "No." So he said to them, "Cast the net over the right side of he boat and you will find something." So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. So John recognized that it was Jesus and said to Peter,"It is the Lord." When Peter heard it, he jumped into the sea and swan toward Jesus.
It is a most joyful moment to recognize that it is the Lord. You don't need to see him; you can just hear him speaking to you and know that it's his voice or see something happening and know that it's his doing. In fact, everything has to do with him and should be a joy to us! It is absolutely fine for us to love him for giving us so much joy.
In today's first reading from Acts 4, Peter and John were speaking to the people in Jerusalem, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. The priests, the temple guard, and the Sadducees confronted them and put them in custody. The next day they brought them before the leaders, elders, and scribes, with all the high priests present. Peter, filled with Holy Spirit, answered their questions first and then boldly proclaimed about Jesus, "There is no salvation through anyone else nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved." I totally agree with Peter. If you do not agree and definitely know of someone who can do a better job of saving us than Jesus, feel free to let me know.
I watched Fr. Goring's new video on YouTube today. I also feel that we need a spiritual illumination to secure our salvation. It is possible that we hear the gospel preached so many times or have had a Christian upbringing all along, but are never acutely aware that Christ is our one and only Savior, that we need to love and serve him alone, and that we would be absolutely lost without him! You probably agree with me here, but it really should hit you like a private revelation!
Here's the video:
Here's the video:
An Italian was asked about the difference between those who buy Ferraris and those who buy Lamborghinis. He said that those who choose the Ferrari all want to become somebody, while those who favor the Lambo know that if they own one, they are somebody. Now I can tell you that if you want to become somebody holy, there are plenty of things you can find to aid you. But if want to be somebody holy, you only need to "own" Jesus, for he can make you to be just like him.
Thursday, April 16, 2020
In the Gospel reading from Luke 24, Jesus appeared to two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus after his Resurrection. They did not recognize him until he broke the bread at the table later in the evening. When the priest breaks the bread during the liturgy of the Eucharist at Mass, we must also recognize that it is the Lord breaking himself to feed us. This is the living bread from heaven that gives us eternal life and we must be grateful for and treasure this most precious gift.
In today's first reading from Acts 3, Peter addressed the people telling them that Jesus is the author of life they put to death, but God raised him from the dead. Indeed he is. We need to know that when we reject him, we reject life and thus life for ourselves.
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Today's response from Psalm 105: Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. The Lord is our greatest and true joy. Once you know him, you want to be with and in him forever, as he is most delightful, uplifting, and understanding. He is what our spirit needs and seeks.
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 20, the Risen Lord appeared to Mary Magdalene at the tomb and said to her, "Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, 'I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Here is my rock solid assurance that if I stay with and follow Christ, I am going straight to my Father and my God.
Today's alleluia verse before the Gospel from Psalm 118: This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. It seems that broadly speaking, there are three groups of people. We have those who are deeply entrapped in sin; those who just drift along, not in particular thinking about God or anything; and those who are glad and rejoice in the Lord everyday. It's easy for me to choose which group I want to belong to.
Monday, April 13, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 28, after learning that Jesus had risen, the chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.' And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. They thought that they had everyone fooled, but we two thousands years later know that it was all fake news. Today maybe 80-90% of the news media spread fake news in this country and the majority of the people already know that they are fake. And, of course, the Lord God you can never fool. It is sad that in general, evildoers are not smart enough to see that they are destined to lose big in the end.
Each of us is a spirit with a soul and a body. Since our body is only a temporary abode, we should not ever let it dictate the way we live. It is the imperishable soul that we must safeguard for it to live on forever with God. By the way, this makes believing in Christ a must.
In today's reading 1 from Acts 2, Peter gave a speech on the day of Pentecost. He let it be known that God raised Jesus the Nazorean up, releasing him from the throes of death because it was impossible for him to be held by it. And he quoted David who prophesied and knew that God would set one of his descendants upon his throne, and foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ. I see that since death has no power over Christ, he has to exist forever, and be our life, our creator, and our God! You cannot possibly separate these three roles! In John 11.25, Jesus said to Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, he will live." In John 14.6, Jesus said to Thomas, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." So the Resurrection of Jesus should be sufficient evidence for us to believe in him. (*In case you still have doubts, watch the the film The Case for Christ on YouTube. It tells the true story of an investigative journalist who tried hard to disprove the Resurrection of Jesus and failed.)